Monthly Archives: June 2013

What I Was Thinking On Page 26

“After five years of playing other roles in each other’s lives, boasting that marriage was only a piece of paper, McKenna and Patrick had pulled the trigger. As a lawyer, she should have realized earlier that papers mattered. Papers created rights and responsibilities. Papers defined families.” – p. 26, IF YOU WERE HERE

“Responsibilities, as well as rights, enhance the dignity and integrity of the person” – United States v. Windsor

Today we are one step closer to rights, responsibilities, dignity, and integrity for all.

Whole Lotta Me on WABC

I had a terrific time talking about IF YOU WERE HERE, standalones v. series, lawyers and journalists, Gillian Flynn and Lisa Unger, the Amazing Race, marriage, and a bunch of other cool stuff with the wonderful Book Show at WABC.  You can listen to the entire interview here. (It’s 25 minutes, so it would make a good companion during a dog walk, workout, chores, or car ride.  Let me know where you listen to it!)

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The Official IF YOU WERE HERE soundtrack

Happy Pub Day to Me, Happy Pub Day to Me….Sung to the tune of Happy Birthday, of course.  But for pub day, I wanted to talk about nine other songs that comprise the official playlist for IF YOU WERE HERE.

The A side of the album (yes, I still think in vinyl) give you five songs that form the title of the novel and four of its parts.  All of these songs, to me, capture the mood of the novel.  They also each have lyrics that connect to the story.

Thompson Twins – If You Were Here: The title of the novel.  As McKenna Jordan searches for her missing friend Susan Hauptmann, she thinks about the decisions they both made ten years ago and how they affect the present.  “If You Were Here” reflects a question McKenna repeatedly finds herself asking: What if life had unfolded differently for both of them?  I was on the fence about the title because it had previously been used by the wonderful Jen Lancaster, but when the song came on the radio as I was pulling out of my garage, I decided it was a sign.
Tears For Fears – Mad World:  “All around me are familiar faces.”  Literally, this is a reference to the early chapters of the novel, when McKenna believes she recognizes Susan’s familiar face.  But the song goes on to say that the person watching those familiar faces feels like an outsider.  This is a song for Susan.
Tori Amos – Northern Lad: “Girls you’ve got to know when it’s time to turn the page, when you’re only wet because of the rain.”  This is a song about moving on and putting the past behind.
Kate Bush – Head’s Were Dancing: “There was a picture of you, A picture of you ‘cross the front page, It looked just like you, just like you in every way. But it couldn’t be true. It couldn’t be true. You stepped out of a stranger.”  McKenna doesn’t know whom she can trust.
Feist – Past In Present: “So much present inside my present, Inside my present so…so much past.” McKenna’s present search for Susan pulls her into the past, and the past has determined her present.

The B side are fun songs referenced along the way.

RUN-DMC – It’s Like That: In the opening chapter, Nicky Cervantes runs through the Times Square subway station and passes a group of break dancers performing to Run DMC.  Though naming the specific song would have been too intrusive, this is the song!
P!nk – Get The Party Started: When McKenna writes a book chapter about the first time she met her husband Patrick through their mutual friend Susan, she says it was the year everyone was getting the party started with Pink.  I remember how ubiquitous this song was when I first moved to New York.  It was the kind of song that made me feel young and fun and reckless.
Snoop Doggy Dogg – Gin And Juice
The Sugarhill Gang – Rapper’s DelightThese are Susan’s go-to hip-hop songs when she’s more than a little tipsy.  They’re also just great songs.

Here’s a Spotify link to the full soundtrack.  Hope you enjoy the playlist, and I really hope you enjoy IF YOU WERE HERE.

Pre-Pub News

Only one more day until IF YOU WERE HERE drops, as the cool kids (used to) say.  I finished the book months ago, and now is the time when I’m along for the ride.

IfYouWereHere Final hc c

The first official signing will be at tonight’s pre-publication event in Tribeca, and then I’ll be hitting the road.  (Full calendar here, including a list of excellent bookstores that will mail you a signed copy.)  If I can’t see you in person, I hope you’ll drop by GoodReads on June 11, when I’ll be doing an on-line discussion.

You also still have one more day to enter the early-reader raffle for IF YOU WERE HERE.   I will send THREE lucky readers a custom tote bag, designed by me and filled with signed books.  ONE of those lucky readers will also get to NAME A CHARACTER IN THE NEXT ELLIE HATCHER NOVEL!

Entering is easy.  Just pre-order a copy of IF YOU WERE HERE, in any format, from any retailer, and then fill out this handy-dandy form.

You can read more about IF YOU WERE HERE on the website.

Finally, in Double news, he and I have been in a battle of wills over his continued presence on the sofa.  Though I’ve never once caught him there in the act, he underestimates my powers of deducation by leaving behind a layer of telltale white fur, a trail of disrupted cushions, and, one time, a gently nibbled flip-flop.

This weekend, I upped my game by booby-trapping the sofa with soda cans filled with pennies.  This is what happened when I left Double alone in the apartment.  You are welcome.

double cam screenshot

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Don’t forget to fill out this pre-order form to be entered into a raffle for cool loot!
“Outstanding…Burke’s accuracy in legal and judicial technicalities is impressive although most readers will find simpler pleasures in her sharp writing, well-constructed plot, and dimensional characters.” —Publisher’s Weekly, starred review

“IF YOU WERE HERE is a winner: a suspenseful, tightly plotted story of friendship, lies, and betrayal. Alafair Burke writes deftly about secrets buried close to home. An accomplished novel by an assured author.” —Meg Gardiner

“After finishing IF YOU WERE HERE, I don’t feel I can trust anyone ever again, except Alafair Burke to provide a cracking good read.” —Linwood Barclay

“Exciting….Lawyer turned-journalist McKenna finds her life turned upside down when she recognizes a friend from her college years who disappeared without a trace a decade before on a video of a near-tragedy on the subway….Will engage [Burke’s] growing audience.” —Booklist

“Burke’s first class adventure has murder and mayhem wrapped up in an intricate, innovative plot….Character development is stellar and the guilty party will keep readers guessing until the end.” —RT Book Reviews, 4 ½ starred review

“Burke is one of the more talented crime writers working today.” —Pittsburgh Tribune (a summer book pick)

Her new standalone delivers a cleverly nuanced plot that will keep the pages turning.  Her smart writing is fast-paced and engaging, and this book should appeal to most mystery readers, especially those looking for compelling, intelligent story lines.” —Library Journal